Building a business on system.com

This data company uses a great domain name.

Company database Crunchbase is a resource I use on a daily basis to find information about domain names and the companies using them. After years of using the service, there are few companies using a premium domain name that I haven’t at least noted.

However, one company that I haven’t come across on Crunchbase before is System, a software company that caught my eye recently after it announced a $12,250,000 Series A funding round.

To me, what is more noteworthy than the Series A funding figure is the company’s domain name, System.com. Originally registered in 1995, System.com represents one of the best one-word .com domains in existence, and likely a domain name that took great effort to acquire.

System was founded by scientist and entrepreneur Adam Bly, an entrepreneur with a wealth of career experience behind him already thanks to the creation of his own successful data analytics company, Seed Scientific, followed by a stint as Spotify’s VP of Data.

While a request for information was ignored, I believe that System has existed behind the scenes for several years, but it has only recently been unveiled to the public. It certainly seems as though Bly and his team acquired System.com well in advance of the company’s public launch.

According to WHOIS history, the domain moved to Google’s registrar under WHOIS privacy protection in mid-2018 and then moved to Amazon’s registrar in early 2019. Archive.org reveals that System.com held a “coming soon” page until mid-2020 when a beta version of System appeared, suggesting that Bly acquired the name while the company was very much in stealth mode.

The acquisition of premium domains by companies in stealth mode is something that does happen often, especially if that stealth company has a funding source and has a specific need to own its exact-match .com before launching to the public.

There is no doubt that System.com is a valuable domain, and it’s an asset to the company that uses it, but is it intrinsic to System’s day-to-day activities? As of writing, System.com hosts a site detailing System’s product offering with a prompt for interested users to sign up for its service. System.com, then, is the company’s shop front.

However, Bly revealed in an Instagram interview (5:57) that later this year, System.com will become even more important to the company as it offers users a search functionality so that visitors can use System.com as a search engine for data.

Bly and the System team showed excellent foresight in securing System.com before launching.

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